Fusing traditional Japanese tattoo design with a passion for nostalgic cartoon characters, Vietnamese tattooer Manh Huynh has created a style uniquely his own. We chat to the artist and owner of Freedom Ink tattoo studio ahead of his debut appearance at The London Tattoo Convention.
Tell us a little about yourself; where do you work and how long have you been tattooing?
I currently own a tattoo shop in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. However, I usually tattoo for international customers and join conventions all around the world. I have been a tattoo artist for 16 years now.
How did you discover tattooing? Did you study art prior to becoming a tattoo artist?
I have a passion for art and have been drawing since I was a child. Mostly I draw what I like, not what art schools teach. I discovered tattooing accidentally when I saw a friend of mine making tattoos and I started to do it too. Just like drawing, I studied tattooing and practiced it myself.
Do you have a favourite character to include in your tattoos?
Pink Panther, Tom and Jerry, ‘gia đình’ Simpson (The Simpsons)…
Many of your tattoos also feature tigers and posts feature the hashtag #1000tigers. Have you set yourself a goal to reach – and how many do you think you’ve tattooed so far?
Yes, it is my target to tattoo 1,000 of them. I have tattooed about 250-300 tiger tattoos so far.
Vietnam has a rich tattoo history. What is the scene like there today?
At present, tattooing in Vietnam is growing remarkably and catching up with tattoo trends all over the world. The tattoo artists are working harder and participating in conventions, achieving not only domestic but also international awards.
Besides tattooing, what other materials do you work with?
Painting. I usually draw when I have some free time and inspiration.
We’re really excited to welcome you to London this summer. What are you looking forward to seeing at the show? How can customers book in with you at the convention?
This is my first time coming to London and participating in such a prestigious convention. I’m looking forward to meeting the talented artists from around the world and enjoying their works of art. Customers can send me an email in advance when I open my bookings for London.
Keep an eye out on Manh Huynh’s instagram @manh_huynh for further details of his schedule.
Don’t miss his first appearance in the UK this summer at the one and only London Tattoo Festival, 31st July – 2nd August 2020.